Nicola Sturgeon: ‘I will not be side tracked by Alex Salmond’s conspiracy theory’

Nicola Sturgeon has “strongly refuted” comments made by MP David Davis about the Scottish Government’s handling of complaints made about former First Minister Alex Salmond.

Speaking at the daily coronavirus briefing, Ms Sturgeon told journalists that she did not wants to be “side-tracked” from discussing the pandemic by “the latest instalment of Alex Salmond’s conspiracy theory”.

Mr Davis yesterday used parliamentary privilege to reveal SNP messages he says was given to him by a whistleblower and which he claimed shows a “concerted effort by senior members of the SNP to encourage complaints” against Alex Salmond. He also suggested that Scottish government officials knew earlier than previously acknowledged of the claims.

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In response to a question about the comments, Ms Sturgeon said: “I refute, I strongly refute the suggestions and insinuations from David Davis in the Commons last night. I’m not going to have this Covid briefing side-tracked by the latest instalment of Alex Salmond’s conspiracy theory. That's just how it is today.

Conservative MP David Davis spoke in the House of Commons yesterday.Conservative MP David Davis spoke in the House of Commons yesterday.
Conservative MP David Davis spoke in the House of Commons yesterday.
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Alex Salmond: Conservative MP David Davis uses parliamentary privilege to reveal...

“I have given eight hours of evidence to the parliamentary committee looking into this. They are now able to assess all of the evidence they have taken, including the evidence they have in relation to the evidence and claims made by David Davies last night. They have a job of work to do right now.

"I'm going to allow them to do that job of work and in the meantime get on with my job of work which is leading this Covid briefing.”

Mr Davis accused the Scottish government of ignoring its own procedures and "actively withholding information" from the Holyrood inquiry which has been tasked with looking at the issue. He said he had been passed messages from the telephone of a senior SNP official by a whistleblower.

Speaking at a debate in Westminster, he said: "I have it on good authority that there exists from 6th Feb 2018 an exchange of messages between civil servants suggesting that the first minister's chief of staff is interfering in the complaints process against Alex Salmond.

"If true this suggests the chief of staff had knowledge of the case in February, not April as she has claimed."

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